Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #41
CE Offered: BACB
Managing the Key Behaviors in Training a New Dog: Most of Them are NOT the Dog's
Saturday, May 28, 2022
11:00 AM–11:25 AM
Meeting Level 1; Room 154
Area: AAB
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Matthew Gross (Shippensburg University)
CE Instructor: Richard Cook, M.D.
Managing the Key Behaviors in Training a New Dog: Most of Them are NOT the Dog's
Domain: Service Delivery
MATTHEW GROSS (Shippensburg University), Richard Cook (Applied Behavior Medicine Associates of Hershey)
Abstract: Successfully "training" a new dog is a function of mindfulness of their own behaviors by the dog's "people," and their ability to manage those behaviors in the context of the interactions with the dog, and in their interactions with other humans regarding the dog's behavior. Multiple behaviors, overt and private, must be emitted in the process of adopting a dog. Once adopted, the rituals begin of training the dog to emit or not emit targeted behaviors. Interactions with other humans can be a threat to consistency needed in the early phases of treatment Once the owner(s) has developed a position regarding a behavior in various situations, it behooves the training process consistency to have a concise and clear plan to communicate the desired behavior plan to those who might interact with the dog, and teach it to those humans. For example, if the owner prefers that the dog not be allowed to jump up onto a person when greeting, or not be given table food, those preferences should be made clear to any human interacting with the dog. Other domains of human behaviors include interactions of persons with the dog regarding tricks, treats, greeting and petting, preferences for walking or holding the dog, and the essentials of communication between humans regarding dog behaviors. Interactions with other animals, and with owners of other animals, as well as the intersection of the dog and the environment either at home or out in the world encountered when going for a walk become the real world of maintenance, generalization, and discrimination of dog behavior, such as the interaction of the new dog with other dogs, other house pets, other humans, and wild animals. It is the owner to other human behaviors that lay the foundation of the dog's behavior. If the "owner" is a couple, there is an exponential increase in behaviors human behaviors emitted, including "private" behaviors such as attitudes toward and understanding of basic behavior principles such as reinforcement and punishment, all of which which need to be defined and shaped. To the extent the owner understands principles of behavior, and can explain them to others in the context of increasing or decreasing specific dog behaviors, such as barking, chasing, marking, etc., it can help make for more consistent training for the dog, and less arguments for the people. This presentation will highlight domains of human behaviors which need to be shaped when adopting and training a new dog.
Target Audience:

attendees who own dogs, like dogs, want to own a dog, train dogs, think they know how to train a dog; attendees who realize that the focus in training a dog must first be on training the owner to emit desired behaviors, from the initial stages of thinking about getting a dog, thru selection, and then training, with other humans, with interactions with other dogs

Learning Objectives: 1. articulate steps in teaching an OWNER how to consider selection of a dog 2. discuss owner behaviors that must be shaped with respect to dog parks, walking the dog, interacting with other dogs and owners 3. demonstrate the approaches to teaching the dog consistently, buy first teaching others who will interact with the dog to emit desired dog interactive behaviors in a consistent fashion



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